The legendary shadow puppet show (傳統皮影戲), commonly known as leather monkey show or leather show (俗稱皮猴戲或皮戲), has now been scripted with tobacco control messages and scenarios. With the use of paper or leather puppets, held between a source of light and a translucent screen, the shadow puppet show has been attractive to children, particularly in rural areas. With music in the background, the drama is narrated and coupled with visually attractive shadowy puppets. This local tradition has come down generations by generations as part of Chinese culture. Now the popular attraction has been transformed by Health Bureau in Chiayi County(嘉義), and made the dull tobacco control messages highly entertaining.
This performing group of mobile shadow theater called “ Smoke free and fresh oxygen ” was formed, with the assistance from the legendary professional puppeteer Xing-Wu Huang (黃興武), by the health center staffs and volunteers from Dalin and Lucao Township (大林鎮與鹿草鄉衛生所) in Chiayi County in central Taiwan in 2010. This year, the theatre scheduled seven performances, with Chiayi County Magistrate Hwa-Kuan Chang (張花冠) inaugurating the first show in Dalin Primary School.
So far, there have been two shows, “The hard-of-hearing Grandma” and “Pigsy Getting Married.” They incorporated the concept of “smoking hurts” and “smoking stinks” by promoting the smoke free environment and smoking cessation. In one story, the Pigsy and the Monkey King (Sun Wukong) repeatedly reminded people of the harms of smoking and the steps to take to quit smoking. In another, Grandma with poor hearing hand picked for her granddaughter, out of ten thousand competing seekers, a nonsmoking man as her husband to be.